White Lights or Color Lights?

I did something a little crazy this year, even by my own standards.

Although I enjoy it so much when it’s completed, I usually HATE putting up our big Christmas tree. (okay, not “hate,” how about “passionate dislike”)

It’s an 11-year old, 10-foot tree with “some assembly required”…in this case, that means the entire tree.

Some of it is held together by duct tape, and I’ve had to reattach many of the individual branch pieces that have twisted out of the coiled metal branch.  And then there’s the lights…


I usually wind 18 to 20 sets of colored lights around those barely held-together branches; all the while thinking I’d love to switch to white lights, but the colored lights are just tradition for us.

Every other tree in our house (more on that later) has white lights, so you’d think I could do just ONE tree…the FAMILY tree no-less…without complaining.

A pre-decorating survey in the household always yields the same answer, they all think it should be white, but they don’t want to break tradition.

SO, I wind those lights while muttering to myself how dumb the whole thing is, and then I put on their kiddie craft projects (Dear Teachers) and it all works and makes me toasty and happy inside. Here’s how it usually looks:

Dear Teachers My Favorite Christmas Tree


You would think that would be enough self-imposed torture.  But no, I needed to complicate things…I needed to have the cake AND eat the cake.

This year, I. DID. BOTH.

You know my penchant for electrocution? Well, I thought I’d add house fire to the mix.

After seeing those LED trees that alternate between color and white, I decided to double wind our tree in incandescents of all hues.

I didn’t add one color, then the second; instead I ran them together as I wove them throughout the branches, so it didn’t take much extra time.  The added time came in dividing up the electrical loads so as not to blow any fuses or draw too much power from one outlet.

white-or-color can-you-put-two-sets-of-lights-in-a-tree

(It also came in the form of a dog who NEVER snuggles with me, but this day decided I was worthy.)



Using Excedrin, heavy-duty extension cords and remote control switches, I now have about four thousand lights in that tree when both sets are on at the same time.

I will double check that our insurance premiums are paid, but wow.

It’s so lovely all lit up, I don’t even want to decorate it.




IF you decorate trees, do you light with white… or color?




PS… I DID raise my pictures about 9inches for now.



PPS… My apologies to those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas. This is not how we actually celebrate Christmas, it’s about some of the secular stuff that shares the same name as the religious season.


  • robjodiefilogomo

    Golly Em—you would totally laugh if you saw our tree and lights—they are like the mini version of yours! We went with the tree that already has the lights on it so it takes about 5 minutes to set up—it’s a little Charlie Brownish though–ha ha!
    What an inventive way to satisfy everyone & every option—and it turned out better than fabulous!!
    And the santa hat at the very top of the past tree—how brilliant!!
    Maybe you should come over to my house to decorate and I’ll put together outfits for you—:)

    • EmDirr

      Oh, could I???! Mr. D&D says Colorado is BEAUTIFUL! A bit of a commute, but it would be wonderful to have “intentionalLy” good outfits (versus “accidental”). And thank you for your nice words about the tree. Son #1 saw it decorated with the white lights and said it just wasn’t the same. I told him to close his eyes and wish it back (even at 21 he knew he’d better indulge me)…with the press of a remote control button he opened his eyes and said “THAT’s how it’s supposed to be.” Made it all worth it. 🙂